Mishell Parreno Taylor
Mishell Parreno Taylor knows first-hand how to operate the human capital aspects of business. She partners with stakeholders in organizations of all sizes, ranging from local to global corporations on a broad spectrum of employment law issues. She has extensive experience in litigating in federal and state courts and administrative agencies across
the country, including California, Texas, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Alabama. Her experience includes defending clients against individual and class-wide claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and retaliation. Additionally, she aggressively handles both individual and class action/Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) wage and hour litigation in matters involving claims of missed meal and rest periods, unlawful deductions, misclassification, expense reimbursement, and off-the-clock work. Some of Mishell’s notable representations include:
- Successfully obtaining early dismissal of PAGA, class, and employee rights claims in California and Texas for global restaurant brand client based on joint-employer defense theories.
- Successfully obtaining Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming order granting Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of a major U.S. airline.
- Successfully litigating an all-defense verdict on behalf of a global defense contractor in the Southern District of California involving claims of national origin and race discrimination and retaliation.
- Obtaining an all-defense award for a large educational institution following a two-week arbitration involving claims of wrongful demotion and retaliation against a major San Diego employer and several of its executives.
Mishell uses her deep multijurisdictional employment litigation experience to partner with clients in workplace crisis management and prevention. She has served as the key negotiator in high stakes workplace negotiations including exiting executives during threatened litigation. She conducts and oversees sensitive employee investigations involving post #metoo claims of harassment, inappropriate conduct, and whistleblower claims. Mishell also counsels organizations on COVID-19 workforce response, including compliance with government-related restrictions across the globe, managing remote workers, reorganizations, workplace safety related issues, and unemployment insurance and leave requirements under state and federal emergency legislation created during the pandemic.
Mishell further distinguishes herself from many of her peers with her ability to effectively handle employment compliance and litigation in circumstances involving multilingual and multicultural human capital across the globe. Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador and being a native Spanish-speaker, she is able to appreciate the cultural differences and nuances inherent when communicating with Spanish-speaking employees. In collaboration with members of Littler Global, she serves as the U.S. liaison for multinational corporations operating or seeking to grow their global footprint in Latin America. Similarly, having Texas roots helps her clients feel she is a trusted advisor regarding California employment law and capable of managing any legal challenges they may encounter in either state.
Mishell is also focused on helping organizations build workplaces of the future. She collaborates with global clients to develop innovative solutions for achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives. This includes partnering with clients as architect and advisor in creating, implementing, and updating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives. She also serves as a trusted advisor to clients on a wide range of employment related issues across California and Texas, including counseling on hiring/onboarding procedures, testing, developing workplace policies and practices, anti-harassment/ discrimination compliance and training, wage and hour compliance, leave administration, and termination decisions.
Mishell is an active member of several of the firm’s practice groups: Complex Litigation and Jury Trials, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Hospitality, Wage and Hour, and International Employment Law. She is also a member of the firm’s Labor-Latin America and Spanish Services groups.
Mishell serves on the Managing Board of Littler Mexico, which manages the operations of Littler Mexico. Additionally, Mishell is a core member of Littler’s Virtual Litigation Planning Committee leading firm efforts in successfully navigating virtual litigation during the pandemic. She previously served as the office managing shareholder of the firm’s San Diego office.
Mishell is a long-standing member of Littler’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and she is the immediate past Co-Chair of Reunión, the firm’s affinity group that provides support and development of its LatinX attorneys. Because of her deep to the advancement of diverse attorneys in the profession, Mishell now serves as a Commissioner on the Hispanic National Bar Association, a commission focused on identifying and studying barriers to the professional development and advancement of Latina lawyers.
Mishell previously served as a commissioner on the Police Officer’s Civil Service Commission for the City of Houston where she presided and made final determinations over appeals of disciplinary actions, appeals of grievances, and all other duties associated with the classification system, promotional system, medical, and psychological (fitness for duty) separations. While in law school, she served as articles editor of the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal, assisted families in immigration matters, and successfully argued a client’s claim for political asylum. Through her multilingual lens, Mishell continues to advocate for those without a voice and serves as pro-bono counsel in claims for asylum and separated minors.